There were snickers in 2019, when the town announced it was buying a Tesla Model 3 for the Police Department.
You can stop laughing.
The vehicle — put in service in February 2020 — is being celebrated for “exceeding performance, cost savings and environmental benefits estimates.”
That’s not just hopeful hype. It’s the verdict of a study by the EV Club of CT.
The report says the Model 3 police cruiser recoups the purchase price premium, and saves money — even in the first year.
• After 4 years the Tesla will have saved enough money to buy another one.
• Each EV avoids emission of over 23 tons of CO2 per year, and saves $8763 in
environmental and health costs.
• There is a $12,582 savings in fuel alone after 4 years, from using electricity to
power the vehicle.
• Reduced maintenance comes from regenerative braking (the engine slows the
car and recaptures some of the kinetic energy, replenishing the battery and
reducing wear on the friction brakes), as well as no spark plugs, transmission,
alternator, water pump, or catalytic converter. The Tesla does not require oil changes.
• Even during the winter months, the Tesla ran 2 patrol shifts without needing to be recharged. There were no issues related to charging and battery use.
The EV Club reports that there was a $15,300 differential in the purchase price of the Tesla versus a Ford Explorer, previously the the “workhorse of the fleet.” That was recouped in the first year due to reduced customization and lower operating costs.
Though Police Department would not receive the discounts applied to the initial vehicle, a second Tesla is still projected to recoup the price premium in one year due to lower customization, maintenance, and fuel costs.
For a full financial analysis, click here.
According to the EV Club’s report, there are non-financial benefits too.
“The car’s catlike alacrity enables an officer to quickly overtake a moving suspect’s vehicle, which reduces the risk to the driver (and) officer, as well as other vehicles and pedestrians.”
Police Chief Foti Koskinas says:
What initially attracted us to the Tesla was how it compared to our traditional fleet vehicles in terms of performance, 5-star crash ratings, and collision avoidance technology.
While the Police Department has been using plug-in hybrids for parking enforcement for several years, this was the first fully electric car to be used in active duty. We needed to confirm our estimates on things like mileage per charge and how the vehicle would stand up overall in the challenging environment of police work.
And of course, we were tracking expenses. The purchase price of the Tesla was higher than the Ford Explorer, but we hypothesized that we’d recoup that expense in lower fueling and maintenance costs for the Tesla.”
Charles Sampson of the WPD managed this project. He adds, “Feedback from the public has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve have been contacted by at least 50 other police departments – from all over the world – with questions about our experience. I know many of them have gone on to purchase Teslas for their fleets.”